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Adult BMI as a Health and Nutritional Inequality Measure: Applications at Macro and Micro Levels

  • Molini, Vasco
  • Nubé, Maarten
  • van den Boom, Bart

Summary We explore the suitability of the adult Body Mass Index (BMI) to measure health and nutritional inequalities between and within households. The paper applies a macro analysis comparing female BMIs at the country level and a micro-analysis comparing females' and males' BMI in Vietnam. At macro level, we estimated an analogue of the Kuznets curve finding a U-shaped relation between development (Human Development Index) and health and nutritional inequality (female BMI). At micro level, we use the panel data characteristics of the Vietnam dataset and show how income improvements registered in the 1990s benefited males considerably more than females.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 1012-1023

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:7:p:1012-1023
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Molini, Vasco & Nube, Maarten, 2007. "Is the Nutritional Status of Males and Females Equally Affected by Economic Growth? Evidence from Vietnam in the 1990s," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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  8. Moradi, Alexander & Baten, Joerg, 2005. "Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa: New Data and New Insights from Anthropometric Estimates," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1233-1265, August.
  9. Alejandro Ramirez & Gustav Ranis & Frances Stewart, . "Economic Growth and Human Development -," QEH Working Papers qehwps18, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  10. Garrett, James L. & Ruel, Marie T., 1999. "Are Determinants of Rural and Urban Food Security and Nutritional Status Different? Some Insights from Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 1955-1975, November.
  11. ERREYGERS, Guido, 2006. "Correcting the Concentration Index," Working Papers 2006027, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  12. David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2009. "Measuring intra‐household health inequality: explorations using the body mass index," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S1), pages S13-S36, April.
  13. Jha, Sailesh K., 1996. "The Kuznets curve: A reassessment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 773-780, April.
  14. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Watanabe, Naoko, 2003. "On decomposing the causes of health sector inequalities with an application to malnutrition inequalities in Vietnam," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 207-223, January.
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  16. Baulch, Bob & Masset, Edoardo, 2003. "Do Monetary and Nonmonetary Indicators Tell the Same Story About Chronic Poverty? A Study of Vietnam in the 1990s," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 441-453, March.
  17. Nube, M., 2001. "Confronting Dietary Energy Supply with Anthropometry in the Assessment of Undernutrition Prevalence at the Level of Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1275-1289, July.
  18. Angus S. Deaton, 2006. "Global Patterns of Income and Health: Facts, Interpretations, and Policies," Working Papers id:777, eSocialSciences.
  19. Micklewright, John & Ismail, Suraiya, 2001. "What Can Child Anthropometry Reveal about Living Standards and Public Policy? An Illustration from Central Asia," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(1), pages 65-80, March.
  20. Haddad, Lawrence & Kanbur, Ravi & Bouis, Howarth, 1995. "Intrahousehold Inequality at Different Welfare Levels: Energy Intake and Energy Expenditure Data from the Philippines," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(3), pages 389-409, August.
  21. Agnes R. Quisumbing & John A. Maluccio, 2003. "Resources at Marriage and Intrahousehold Allocation: Evidence from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and South Africa," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(3), pages 283-327, 07.
  22. Anand, Sudhir & Sen, Amartya, 2000. "Human Development and Economic Sustainability," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2029-2049, December.
  23. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2007. "Absolute poverty measures for the developing world, 1981-2004," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4211, The World Bank.
  24. Woolard, Ingrid & Klasen, Stephan, 2004. "Determinants of Income Mobility and Household Poverty Dynamics in South Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 1030, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Height, health, and inequality: the distribution of adult heights in India," Working Papers 1009, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  26. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea & Menchini, Leonardo, 2006. "Health Improvements and Health Inequality during the Last 40 Years," Working Paper Series RP2006/10, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  27. Osmani, Siddiq & Sen, Amartya, 2003. "The hidden penalties of gender inequality: fetal origins of ill-health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 105-121, January.
  28. Dasgupta, Partha, 1997. "Nutritional status, the capacity for work, and poverty traps," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 5-37, March.
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